“Lost” is another of my recent paintings that came about as a result of my frustrations with Degenerative Myelopathy. My days since becoming an artist full-time have been spent mostly with my dogs. Walking them, playing with them, taking care of them, and in between sun bathing and naps, getting my artwork done.
Since Buck has really started showing the symptoms and progression of DM, things are a bit different. He communicates now by crying and/or barking. I have to figure out if he’s hungry, needs to go out, needs water, needs attention, needs adjustment on his bed because he’s uncomfortable, etc. If he has to go out, I can’t carry him (he’s 75lbs). I have to get his outdoor booties on, and lift his back-end like a wheelbarrow, manuever him out the door and walk him to his very favorite spot which is of course at the very back of the yard. I hold his back end while he poops so he can’t fall back in it like a turtle. And then we have to wheelbarrow it back inside, taking only a minor break when he goes under the backyard table (he always insists on a ‘rest break’ under the table where I can’t hold him).
When I need tips and tricks, I go on the DM facebook group page. Every day there is a new posting where someone has just put down their DM dog, or someone is asking for advice on how you know when is the right time, or someone is venting because they are struggling in all the little things. And they are tired. And they are sad….
But at the same time, every day is a new post of a dog getting his wheels and being happy again. New pictures of dogs that look like they are smiling despite the fact they can’t move. And owners just smitten they won a small battle that day and sharing with the rest of us so we know the secret.
As ugly as the disease is….as heart breaking as it is to watch not just the struggles of others but your very own heart and soul dog…it can also be beautiful. You see the lengths people will go for these wonderful animals…. The lengths you are willing to go (using a q tip to stimulate your dogs bowel movements) and you don’t question for a second that you would do the unimaginable, if it comes down to the happiness and comfort of your dog.
So “Lost” came out of that. A little beauty deep in the darkness. Out of everything that is being taken, the love is not lost.
You can find more pictures of this abstract acrylic and ink on 12×24 canvas in our etsy shop.